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Archive for December, 2011

It comes on so fast, and I am beaten before the gun even goes off; there is no readied startle, no uncoiling, no explosive start.

I am having coffee. Coffee is not my focus, not ever. It is always an aside to whatever else I’m doing, gentle punctuation on a task, a sitting with someone, a get-up-and-let’s-go. Sometimes I drink it not because I want it, but because it makes me feel secure and capable and adult. Professionals drink coffee, don’t they? People who know what the fuck they are doing drink coffee.

I am having coffee and the sun is streaming in the windows. I was so proud to have these windows when they were first given to me, to have the ample natural light and the gaze of nature on my bent head as I sanded and hammered and painted and set my mouth just so as I was coaxing something into existence from a pile of throwaway things. I have a broad expanse of white workspace secured to the wall below the windows and I can look up as I bite my lip, as I focus and hum something old and familiar that pulls at me deeply, to see the tops of the trees I am floating amongst. I can survey the kingdom all the way to the street. It is a terrific view. I’m still proud of these windows.

I am having coffee and the sun is streaming in the windows and my work table is piled over with things crying out to be other things. Perched on the edge of my chair, I’m securing one something to another something, pausing to look with a stranger’s eyes, pushing, adjusting, clamping the things together because they’ll live this way from now on. (Although. Sometimes it occurs to me, you know? It occurs to me that one day this thing might be just another throwaway thing and then maybe the things I put together will fly apart and parts will be discarded while other parts give rise to something else.) I tilt my head, set the new thing down. It’s a process and I can only do so many things at once: There are constraints to alchemy. I begin something else and my chest explodes.

I am having coffee. The sun is streaming in the windows. The work table is ample with materials. They want to be other things, things other than what they are. My chest explodes. Who the fuck am I and how is it that I have a right to be here? It would be better without me, it would be easier to be gone, I am blindsided with worthlessness and anxiousness and why did this start, when did this start, I used to have the answers, oh no.

Oh no, oh no.

What then, when your whole life is scripted as apology? I’m sorry I’m here. I’m sorry I did it wrong. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. I’m tired of misunderstanding. How is it that I am so often misunderstood when I put everything I have into being absolutely plainspoken? How do I stop being hostage to the hearts of others? My own heart is far afield. It’s rebellious as fuck and will not come to me when I call it back. My chest has exploded and my heart is running away from me and I curse the day that I ever thought that to let it be seen was a wise thing.

It comes on so fast. I am crumpled at the gate. It opens. It opens and I am never ready.

 
|| December 4, 2011 || 12:27 pm || Comments (5) ||

Doyle,
It is eleven-thirty on a Sunday morning and I am sitting on the most comfortable plaid couch my ass has ever had the pleasure of attaching itself to; this couch is perpendicular to a bank of industrial windows in an old sharecropper’s house. (contextual photo here)  The house is surrounded by shotgun shacks all around and I was supposed to have my ass attached to a couch in one of those, but fate intervened so now I have an eighteen-foot corrugated ceiling where my ideas can waft up to and bob around, teasing me and waiting for me to play.

But one of the shacks would have served just as well. Ideas lurk in the corners of those. The ceilings hold dreams waiting to be plucked.

It’s raining. My traveling companions (picked up willy-nilly along the way) are all still tucked in rooms, presumably rain-soothed, hopefully warm and delighted. That’s my wish for them, anyway. The rain started easy this morning and so did I, washing some dishes, making some coffee, thinking my thinks. While I’ve been sitting here taking in words, percolating my own, the rain has ramped up the show a good bit but hasn’t exactly decided that it wants to stick with that plan of action; it keeps waxing and waning, a comforting striptease of intensity that is yanking at my middle where all the words and all the emotions settle themselves so as to let me function in the day to day.

Last night I had one dream: In it  I was a picture in a frame and I burned up. The frame itself was left pristine;  florid and beautiful, it was open and ready for a new picture of me. The fire was sudden and startling and at first I grieved because I didn’t realize for a few seconds what that empty frame floating in front of me truly meant. Then it dawned on me, though, that this space –this beautiful golden delineation of matter– was just an invitation to Other, which is something people pine for the whole of their lives.

So now: “Pick what goes in that frame, girl. And you don’t even have to pick especially carefully. Fire will come and take it away if it’s the not-right (not-right isn’t the same as wrong, see?) option  and you can pick again. Fire is your friend. Fire laughs and licks and pirouettes in a jagged-fluid line. Smile into the fire.”

I spent probably the first thirty-two years of my life pretending I wasn’t this broken thing. Then I sat perplexed at the notion that something about me just wasn’t right and I probably better fix some shit. My life reverberated with ‘huh’ –not a question, a statement: “Huh.”– for a year or two and then I resolved to get my hands dirty with the clearing away of messy and misappropriated insides.

Scut work. Sweating and swiping the backs of your filthy hands across your dripping forehead work. Finally, finally the breaking done, the clearing-away, the standing and the surveying, the terror and excitement of bare ground and the notion of what goes there now. Finally those things, Seanie. Finally.

Regrowing yourself is overwhelming in a way I’d have never imagined. See also: I am a complete fucking badass.

It’s all culminating now. I think I have all the seeds loose and ready in my hands. It’s just a matter of configuration now, of deciding if there are rows and how I want them laid out or if I fling them to the wind and laugh and wait for the return. Probably, as is my nature, it will be some of both. I’m broken clean down and ready to see what comes of it. You know. You know.

Send me that Wiki link that I lost. I was drunk and howling that night and I need to read that shit again. I have different eyes now. In exchange, here’s a present for you.

I hope your Sunday morning coming down is as peaceful and as loaded as mine.

Your loving friend,
Jett